In our journey on this Earth we have four basic Rites of Passage: birth, childhood, adulthood, and passing to the Spirit World. It is that last rite that I wish to honor today and to say “Goodbye” to a man that I first came to know as a customer when I started working in the antiques industry over fifteen years ago. I dedicate this post to Tom who passed over at a much too early age and now will reside in the Sky Lodge.
In the beginning I just knew Tom as a regular customer who purchased glass items. It only took a few short months of waiting on him to figure out that Tom knew more than just a little bit about glass and most specifically American made glass. I was still very much in the learning phase of antiques and I wasn’t embarrassed in the slightest to ask him what was so special about the items he was purchasing on any given visit. Tom was more than happy to share his knowledge with me and became a trusted mentor over the years. He taught me so much and I know that I was not the only one he reached out to with his superior knowledge.
I can’t remember very many times that when Tom would come into the shop that he didn’t share at least one joke with me, usually three or four. He could always make me laugh! And because he traveled so much looking for inventory he usually had little tidbits of gossip to share, too. Over the years Tom became my friend and not just a customer.
Tom encouraged my love of writing, once he found out that it was even more of a passion of mine than antiques. Tom had a book published Early Fenton Rarities, 1907-1938 (Schiffer Book for Collectors). It was a real treat to walk through the entire process with him and once it was out, I found great joy in helping him sell the books. He shared a piece of fiction that he was working on with me and it saddens me that it will never be completed and published. It was a very intriguing story and I have no doubt he would have had great success with it.
Tom, you will be very much missed by so many of us that got to know you in the antiques industry and even more by those of us who called you friend. Although it is hard to grasp that it was your time to enter this last rite of passage, the Creator knows best for our time to end here on Earth. It was an honor to know you, my friend and a joy to have walked part of our journey together. Your quiver was full of straight arrows that always spoke the truth.
~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related